Those of you who know me, will know that I don't air my emotional baggage all over social media. But today, on the anniversary of my mom passing away...I'm going to. She loved when I wrote, no matter what the content was. Writing has always been, and will always be, my passion and she saw that in me and encouraged me to do it. I let it fall through the cracks a lot and life gets in the way...but today I'm writing for mom - to mom.
Today is the day where I'm brutally reminded that my world is completely turned upside down and you're not here anymore.
I've been trying to write you a letter for two years, thanking you for all of the things you did for me and reminding you of how much I loved and still love you. But you know all of that...I know you do, I can feel it. I know you're still here with me because the magic of Birthday Week is still around even though I don't get a phone call at 5:25 in the morning from you. I know that you're here with the boys when they're hurt or scared because I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach that tells me I need to go be with them. That's you. You taught me how to be a good mom - I was made in your image.
Boy, was I made in your image. We butted heads a lot when I was younger. I kick myself for it now. You drove me crazy! And I know I drove you crazy too! But that's what we did. If I had only known that my time was limited with you...maybe I would have been more patient with things that I thought were trivial and time consuming? Who knows.
I know you know all of these things mom, because you were my best friend. My other half. My person. Even when we fought, I loved you. More than anyone or anything ever could. I always had this unwavering love for you. I needed you. I still need you.
Yes, I'm always sad that you're gone - but I've learned that sadness is selfish, at least in this case. You were sick and hurting, and I don't want that for you ever. Even if it meant one more day here with me. I know you're in a better place with Rose and Mater - I've finally accepted that.
But what I truly feel when this time comes around is guilt...and I haven't told anyone that. I'm sure you've figured it out by now. I feel guilty, Mom. Because you were always there for me. When I was sick or scared...you were there. That's what moms do. But when you were sick and scared two years ago...I wasn't there. When it was time for you to go, I wasn't there with you. I should have been. As your daughter, I should have been the one there with you to hold your hand, and tell you that it was ok if you wanted to let go now - that Pat and Chris and I would be ok because we're strong. Because we were made in your image. I wasn't. I had this gut feeling earlier in the day - I even texted Pat and told him that I thought something wasn't right. Every ounce of my body and every sign from the universe was telling me to stay, but my head made me leave....and then you were just...gone.
I remember coming to your house the next morning and holding your hand...and apologizing. God, I hope you heard that. Because I meant it...I still mean it. I am so sorry, Mom. You needed me more than anything and I was not there for you, and I am so so very sorry. I want you to know that. That I love you and I feel terrible for not being there with you, every day of my life. I am sorry for all the times we yelled and fought. I'm sorry for all the times I was ever difficult. I'm sorry that I couldn't give back everything to you that you gave to me.
My guilt will live with me forever...I know this because some mornings I wake up - this morning in particular - and it's the first feeling that courses through my body. But like all things, guilt is a phase. Most mornings I'm fine, and time heals all wounds...or so I've heard.
You should know though, that we are all fine mom, you don't have to worry about us. I figured out how to tell when hot dogs and lunch meat go bad without having to call Pat or Aunt Terrie...Sometimes I still have to call them and ask, just to make sure. You did such a good job raising us, even when we made mistakes or had bumps in the road you knew exactly how to help us through it. And look at us, we are all semi-functioning, well-adjusted adults.
So thank you mom - for teaching me how to sew, how to iron, how to cook. Thank you for teaching me that sometimes life throws you curve balls, but worrying about it isn't going to make it any better. Thank you for loving me at my best, and at my worst. Thank you for giving me all of the knowledge and power you knew I would need to succeed in my life.
But I think that the most important thing I could thank you for is this...Thank you for teaching me that love is always, no matter what, unconditional.
You will always be my best friend and my person. I love you, Mama. Unconditionally. Forever and always.
Your Baby Girl